Choosing the correct women’s lacrosse stick can be a tough decision and can potentially affect your game. The head and stringing of the lacrosse stick are essential, and the handle is just the stick that the head is on, right? Wrong! The handle of the lacrosse stick can also affect a player’s game tremendously.
The two major types of lacrosse handles are composite and alloy. While many girls quickly jump on the composite bandwagon, it’s important to fully understand the setbacks and advantages to each material. These types of handles can be compared on four different levels: the handle’s performance in the weather, its stiffness, the range of designs it can come in, and its weight.
How the handle acts in different weather conditions is what many girls base their handle preference on. If you want a handle that will remain more temperate in extreme heat or the frigid cold, then composite material is right up your alley. By comparison, your alloy handle will fluctuate depending on the weather. Also, if you are playing with an alloy handle in the rain, chances are your hands will slip. However, there is hope for all of you alloy lovers out there! All of these problems can be simply fixed by either using cloth tape on your stick or by wearing gloves.
Another important factor is how stiff or malleable you want your stick to be. Since composite handles are made up of a mix of materials, they can be more prone to breakage. However, the bright side to the stick being less stiff is that it can bend. Certain handles are designed to slightly bend with enough force, which is called flex technology. This can add extra whip to your passes and shots. Alloy, on the other hand, cannot bend, making it a much stiffer stick and less prone to breakage.
If design and colors of your shaft are important to you, then you may lean more towards a composite handle. Composite handles tend to come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes that make them more appealing to players. Alloy, unfortunately, is more limited.
Who wants to run with an obnoxiously heavy, awkwardly balanced, lacrosse stick up and down the field? Certainly not many. Alloy handles used to be really heavy but now, thanks to modern technology, they can be just as light, if not lighter, than a composite handle. Most alloy handles are made of scandium, titanium, or a mix of the two, called Sc-Ti.
There are so many important things to consider when choosing the best lacrosse handle for you, and that is why Longstreth Sporting Goods is here to help. Both the associates in the Longstreth retail store and customer service are here to assist you in choosing your dream lacrosse stick. We are prepared to answer any and all of your women’s lacrosse related questions in order for you to get everything you have ever wanted out of a lacrosse stick. Ask us anything!
Women’s Lacrosse Head
Women’s Lacrosse Heads differ widely from the men’s version to better fit the needs of the women’s lacrosse game. While the men’s stick has a deep mesh pocket to ease catching and carrying the ball, the women’s stick has a tighter pocket that requires proper technique to keep possession while cradling.
Curve of the Scoop
The scoop is the widest part of the women’s lacrosse head and is used to pick up the ball and also can improve accuracy when passing and shooting. Scoops vary in width and curvature. They range from a flat design where the scoop has a little curve at the top, to a more “U” shape, where the scoop has a lot of curve at the top. Heads with a flatter scoop are designed for developing players because it makes it more suitable for picking up ground balls. The “U” shaped scoop will channel the ball better during a pass or shot, making it perfect for improving shot accuracy.
The Sidewall and Angle of the Scoop
Sidewalls, like the rest of the head, are made of plastic mold and connect the strings to the lacrosse head. They vary in flexibility and depth. The shape and depth of the sidewalls directly affects ball control. A lower sidewall allows for a deeper pocket, which increases ball control. Most elite heads have dropped sidewalls for this reason. Beginner sticks tend to have flatter or straighter sidewalls to help teach younger players proper technique. The angle of the scoop from the sidewall area determines the way the ball will be released from the head. An extreme angled scoop provides more whip and accuracy when shooting. A flatter scoop will have less whip and not as advanced ball control.
Weight of the Head
The weight of the head is usually due to the head having more plastic, which not only increases the weight, but also makes it stiffer. This is beneficial to defenders, midfielders, and other players who are often stick-checking and aggressively going after ground balls. A lightweight head usually has thinner sidewalls and is more flexible. Many attackers, or midfielders that shoot, like having a head that is lightweight because it makes them feel like they have more control. A light head will make it more flexible, which can make them ineffective on ground balls and landing hard checks. It also makes the head more susceptible to breaking.
Width of the Head
Narrow heads are good for ball retention and accuracy, while wider heads have more surface area for blocking and catching the ball. Wide heads tend to be more desirable to defensive players. Attackers tend to like the more narrow heads, and midfielders look for a balance depending on whether they are more offensive or defensive.
This thin piece of rubber or foam that is meant to cushion the ball as it sits in the pocket. Women’s lacrosse heads feature a larger ball stop area since the pocket is not as deep as the men’s and the ball comes in contact with the ball stop more often.
The pocket is where the ball resides. Pockets include the center piece, nylon stringing around the center piece, and leathers or thicker nylons on either side of the center piece. There is also a top string at the top, which may need to be replaced depending on what surface you play on and how often. The sidewalls strings, in conjunction with the top string, help to secure the pocket to the head. Sidewalls strings are also susceptible to breaking and are usually easy to repair. The last strings in the pocket are the shooting strings. They can be strung into a head in different shapes and positions, as long as they meet the stringing requirements. The most common shape and combination is a shooting string at the top threaded straight across, and then a U or V-shaped string below.
Visit http://www.longstreth.com for details on the huge selection of women’s lacrosse sticks, heads, and gear. Longstreth Sporting Goods specializes in bringing the best of the best equipment to the female athlete. Check out the great selection of women’s lacrosse equipment at Longstreth.
Fastpitch Softball Gloves
When it comes to the game of fastpitch softball, gloves and mitts are one of the most important choices an athlete can make. Each year, vendors roll out their new line for the upcoming season. Typically, each line includes gloves/mitts produced for specific positions with a variety of leathers and pocket web designs. Some gloves are made for the both right- and left-handed players; but the majority of gloves / mitts are designed for the right-handed thrower.
As a female athlete, it’s important to find a glove that has been made specifically for the female player. These gloves feature narrow fingers, smaller wrist openings, and a wider pocket.
This season, three fastpitch softball gloves have become popular choices.
Nokona Walnut Fastpitch Gloves
The Nokona brand is synonymous with high-quality, top-of-the line offerings. Their Nokona Walnut line is a classic best-selling glove that provides great stability, durability, and a game-ready feel. The Walnut Fastpitch gloves are constructed of flexible, lightweight Walnut Steerhide Leather. They are handcrafted and made specifically for the female athlete’s hand. The single finger closed back with adjustable Velcro wrist strap offers a personalized fit for each individual player. The fielder’s and catcher’s gloves come in a variety of sizes with a closed web, while the first base is available with an H-web design. They’re all available for the right-handed thrower.
Wilson’s A2000 is designed for the serious fastpitch athlete. This 12.5-inch fastpitch glove has been created with the new Custom Fit System, a hook and loop wrist closure that offers every player a customized secure fit – no matter how tight she wears it. It is built from Premium Pro Stock leather that gives the glove superior feel and durability; and allows the glove to break in perfectly and last from season to season. The A2000 features D-Fusion padding just below the pocket to absorb the shock of hard line drives; a Victory Web that makes it the perfect outfielder glove; and is available for right-handed throwers.
Rawlings Liberty Advanced
Rawlings has developed a perfectly-balanced pattern technology for the Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Softball Glove series. This 12.5-inch glove is designed for the smaller hand of the female athlete, therefore providing improved control and comfort. The nonslip pull strap makes the hand opening adjustable for a custom fit. The Liberty Advanced Glove is constructed from full-grain oil-treated shell leather making it feel game-ready. It features a double-laced basket web which forms a closed, deep pocket making it an excellent choice for infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. It’s available for right-handed throwers.
While these three gloves rise to the top of this year’s offerings, there are many other options available for all levels of players. Longstreth Sporting Goods has a huge variety of gloves and mitts specifically designed for the female athlete. Visit Longstreth to see the fastpitch equipment selection or ask the Softball Expert how to select the perfect glove for you.
2017 Women’s Lacrosse Sticks
Each year, lacrosse vendors roll out their new selection of women’s lacrosse heads and sticks for the upcoming season. Most equipment is designed with specialized technology that helps players get the most of their game. Some are constructed for players who are great defenders; while others have attributes that are best for a player who plays offense. Of course, goal keeper sticks have their own unique features.
This year, two sticks rise to the top of selection. Both have new technology that set them apart from the rest of the collection.
Under Armour Glory
Under Armour was inspired by the University of Maryland when creating this head. They constructed the Glory with the new Rail Elite Pocket , making it ideal for the elite player. The Rail Elite Pocket is unbeatable compared to any other pocket in the market. The high-quality nylons are built to withstand extreme temperatures and reduce weight. It also features Glide Scoop Technology that guides players to the ball no matter what direction they approach it. The Maximum offset offers superior control and feel, especially in the sweet spot. Lastly, the Poron XRD ballstop absorbs ball impact to minimize the chances of the ball bouncing out of the pocket. The Under Armour Glory with Rail Elite Pocket is available as a strung or unstrung head or as a complete stick with the Under Armour Composite Handle. These features make this stick the preferred choice of many college women’s lacrosse programs.
STX Crux 500
Another top choice of the season is STX’s Crux 500. This lightweight 10-degree lacrosse head comes with the Launch Pocket. 10 degree technology shifts the center of gravity, pushing the ball to the sweet spot, thus releasing the ball quicker. The unique Launch pocket features a design where the middle Chevrons widen near the sweet spot to flex out and hug the ball for better control and feel. The STX Crux 500 can also be purchased as a strung or unstrung head or as a complete stick with the STX Composite 10 handle.
2017 Women’s Lacrosse Heads and Handles
There are many other sticks and brands to choose from. Each brand offers a complete line of lacrosse heads that fit the needs of players of each level. Longstreth Sporting Goods specializes in bringing the best of the best equipment to the female athlete. Check out the great selection of women’s lacrosse equipment at Longstreth.
Longstreth has asked Jaime Wohlbach, East Stroudsburg Softball Head Coach and Softball Catcher Trainer to share her expertise in the field for this blog. Jaime shares our passion for the game and commitment to women’s sports. She has been involved with every aspect of the game of softball – playing, coaching, training and has built a solid reputation both within the USA and internationally.
She’s been a catcher for many years so it was natural for us to ask her to share a few Drills for the Softball Catcher. From Jaime’s point of view, a softball catcher must be mentally, physically and fundamentally tough, and most important of all, be a leader on and off the field.
Throughout her catching career, Jaime has found that to achieve maximum potential and maintain position readiness, a catcher must train 12 months out of the year. Here are three drills that Jaime recommends that can be worked on daily, to enhance strength, speed, footwork and stamina.
This is a great drill to build in reaction time to block. Catchers know solid technique, but it’s reacting to the “missed pitch” that will better prepare catchers.
Bucket Arm Strength Drill
This drill is great to build arm strength and length while keeping form in proper position.
Sets/Reps: 10 reps, 3 sets, throwing to the spot marked as the furthest distance being reached before bouncing.
Next session, go back one step further than the marked spot to continue to build on strength and length of throw, again, 10 reps, 3 sets, at a distance one step further than the day before
Block and Wild Pitch Combo Drill
This drill incorporates solid blocking technique, while the next softball thrown works on exploding for the wild pitch. This will result in building power, speed, and endurance while still maintaining good mechanics even when the body gets tired.
Sets/Reps: 10 reps, 2 sets, up/down is 1 rep.
This will build strength, power, and endurance. As the athlete gets tired during reps 6-10, encourage the front foot to be strong on the powerline to continue solid accurate throws while pushing through being tired.
Jaime’s advice as a seasoned catcher, coach, and clinician developing athletes, is to make the time every day to train. Why? You do it for the love of the game. You do it for yourself and no one else. You do it because the strength within you loves to excel and compete. You do it because you want to be the best catcher you can be and rise to the challenge. You do it because you want to earn your role on the field. You do it because you anchor the field of success.
Longstreth thanks Jaime Wohlbach for her expertise, passion, and dedication to the game of softball. Visit Longstreth.com for more information about the game, ask the experts, or shop our huge selection of softball catcher's gear and other softball equipment.
Before buying equipment for your young female athlete, it is important to understand the requirements of her sport. Softball doesn't require as much equipment as some more intense sports. However, equipment for softball players does need to include excellent footwear. Here are some of the features of softball cleats:
What are Cleats?
Generally, "cleats" refers to any shoe with projections on the sole. The spikes on cleats for softball have different spacing than cleats for other sports and are designed for providing the traction needed by softball players. Cleats help a player:
Types of Cleats
The biggest difference in cleats is whether spikes are metal or molded. While metal gives more traction, it also:
Which Cleats to Choose?
Because fastpitch softball is more competitive, players in college, professional and competitive leagues are generally allowed to use metal cleats in games to help them steal a base. Some high school teams allow metal spikes and others do not, so it is important to find out what is allowed for your young athlete.
Important Features to Consider in Buying Softball Cleats
When buying cleats for softball, the brand or style is less important than getting a good fit. Here are some features to consider:
Help in Choosing Softball Cleats
Do you need help in choosing the best softball cleats for your daughter? The experts at Longstreth Sporting Goods specialize in fitting equipment and footwear for young female players. While young players may focus more on style and color, the professionals at Longstreth can help her consider fit and how the shoe feels on her foot so that you get the shoe that most enhances her game. We also carry the best field hockey gear and lacrosse gear for your athlete.
#Cleats, #Softball Cleats, #Softball Cleats Features
In outfitting your young fastpitch softball player, you've probably spent some time considering the right type of softball bat, glove, and other softball equipment she needs for enjoying the sport. However, you may be wondering if she needs anything else. Would a softball pitching machine give her extra practice? Here are some tips on the pros and cons:
Cons of Using Pitching Machines for Softball
The biggest problem with a young softball player practicing using a pitching machine is that often the machine is not used correctly. Here are some of the cons:
Pros of Using Pitching Machines for Softball
However, if a young female player has been outfitted with a good softball bat just right for her size and ability, and the pitching machine can vary the pitches, using a machine can be a great way to get in extra practice, even on her own. Here are the benefits:
Tips for Using Softball Pitching Machines
Using the softball pitching machine at home or with the team will work better when doing the following:
Is a Softball Pitching Machine Right for You?
As with most tools, a softball pitching machine can be terrific if used correctly. If you need help choosing a pitching machine, composite bat or any other fastpitch softball equipment, be sure to consult the experts at Longstreth Sporting Goods who specialize in outfitting female fastpitch softball players with equipment that fits their unique needs.
#Pitchingmachines, #Softballpitchingmachines, #HittingHelp
If you are just getting started in fastpitch softball, you need to know that players use fastpitch bats made either of composite, aluminum alloy, or a combination. The best bat for a player is the one that swings best for her. Here are some of the best fastpitch softball bats available:
#1 Bat: Louisville Slugger Xeno Plus
Want the bat many elite players choose? While some people don't like the stiff swing, this composite bat is popular because of its:
Top 3 Bat Brands
These three brands are solid and reliable choices for your bat:
Bat Brands on the Rise
Getting the right softball equipment for your young female athlete can give her the chance to play her best. Longstreth Sporting Goods provides softball equipment that meets the unique needs of young women. If you need help choosing a softball bat or other gear, be sure to give us a call.
#FastpitchSoftballBats, #SoftballBats, #SBBats, #bestbats
Ready for the 2017 softball season? Whether it is going to a practice or playing a game, softball players have a lot of softball gear to bring along. Having the right gear bag can make it much easier for a player to keep their equipment in good condition and tote it around. All players need a bag which fits all of their gear in easily and which is comfortable for them to carry.
Top Bat Bags
Getting a new softball bag is a great way to start off the season, whether your young player is a starting playing for the first time, or has several seasons behind her. Her confidence will increase when she brings her favorite softball bat and other equipment in one of these top softball bag types and styles of 2017:
Built for the diamond and wherever you need to go to play, the Easton Walk-Off is a premium sport utility backpack with:
DeMarini Voodoo Rebirth
This version of the popular DeMarini backpack takes it up a level with:
Louisville Slugger Series 7 Stick Pack
The spacious storage compartment of this bag has a large opening. In addition, the bag features:
Choosing a Catcher's Bag
Catchers have the most equipment to carry out of anyone on the softball team and they need a specialized catchers gear bag. Because of the weight of the equipment, catcher's equipment bags are wheeled. Check out the top 2017 styles:
With easy access to the footwear compartment, the Mizuno Samurai offers convenience as well as durable off-road wheels. Furthermore, it offers:
Louisville Slugger Catch-All
With a high rise wheel chassis and rigid bottom, this bag has a stable roll. It features:
With full bottom rails and bracketed inline wheels, the Easton offers strength and durability. This bag has:
Whether you are in the market for a new fastpitch softball bat, catcher's gear, or a new glove, Longstreth Sporting Goods is uniquely able to help you make the best choice. We offer a superior selection of the top choices of equipment designed with the young female player in mind. Better yet, our experience in outfitting young women players is second-to-none. Contact Longstreth for customization options on team orders of 12 or more bags.
#SoftballBags, #SportsBags, #BestBags, #BestSoftballbags
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports, but most parents, unless they have been lacrosse athletes themselves, don't know much about the sport and might never have watched a game before their children became players. Here are 7 things every lacrosse parent should know:
1. Learn about the Game
This fast-paced sport can be bewildering. Here are some things to learn:
· The different positions and their responsibilities.
· How the game is played
· Foul rules
Longstreth Sporting Goods has a great selection of books – check out the 2017 US Women’s Lacrosse Rule Book or read about the history of the game in Women Play Lacrosse
2. Don't Talk to Officials
Everyone cringes when parents become overly critical of officials or coaches, but no one is hurt more than that parent's child. As a matter of fact, lacrosse etiquette says that parents don't comment on calls at all. It is out of order to say anything either good or bad to the officials and it is important to stop other parents from doing so because it can cause your team to have a penalty.
Like most sports, lacrosse coaches can often use another set of hands and eyes to help either in practices or games. Ask your daughter's coach if you can be a:
· Equipment manager
· Concessions helper
· Film manager
Getting in on the action yourself is a way to learn about the game and also a way to get to know other players and parents. Better yet, you can go back on the sidelines and help other people understand what is going on during the play.
4. Be Positive
Any competitive sport can cause strong emotions in both players and parents but remember that, as a parent, you set a tone for your player when you communicate with the coach. Remember to speak thoughtfully, kindly, and in a positive manner to the coach, and also to your child when talking about the coach. Coaches often spend far more time coaching than they ever get compensated for, so be appreciative!
5. Don't Assume-Ask
Is your daughter or another child not given much play time? Or you see a player coming off the field and you don't know why? Don't assume there is some prejudice against the player or imagine the coach doesn't think she has talent. There could be other reasons a player comes off the field, such as:
· The player has been asked to make a change on their own and hasn't yet done it.
· The player may have been sent in for a particular short job on the field.
· A player may feel winded and choose to sit out a while, which is allowed.
6. Take the Long View
Did your team lose? Take the opportunity to give your daughter some life lessons about the value of being challenged, learning to practice harder, and learning to work together as a team. Is your player disappointed by tryouts? Sympathize but also help them see what they can do to improve for next time.
7. Know the Equipment
Making sure your daughter has the right lacrosse equipment for playing her game and practicing her skills is an important part of helping her succeed in this fast-paced game. Make sure to choose a stick that fits her height and skill level. The handle on a stick can be shortened for smaller players, as long as the full crosse is within the legal length. Keep some lacrosse training balls handy for her to hone her skills. Make sure she has good quality cleats so that she has a strong footing in the ground and slip-ups are minimized.
Need help? The lacrosse managers at Longstreth Sporting Goods can provide you information. We specialize in outfitting female lacrosse players and are happy to answer any questions. Feeling fancy? Come in to our store and get your custom strung lacrosse heads at Longstreth!
#LAX, #Lacrosse, #LacrosseParents